Popular Aussie fitness influencer Sarah Stevenson has admitted to promoting an ‘unhealthy’ lifestyle to her hundreds of thousands of followers after losing her period from not eating enough and exercising too much.
Stevenson, who has a YouTube and Instagram account under the name Sarah’s Day, says she was part of a ‘toxic culture’ that targeted women’s bodies.
Speaking on Grace Beverly’s podcast Working Hard Hardly Working, the 30-year-old said she regrets the unhealthy habits she promoted to her followers – many of whom were young and impressionable.
Five years ago, Stevenson shared her journey of losing her period and trying to get it back with her followers.
At the time, she said she lost her period due to Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) or amenorrhea (the absence of menstruation, often defined as missing one or more menstrual periods) and how they can get it back.
Aussie influencer Sarah Stevenson has opened up about losing her period because she wasn’t eating enough
The 30-year-old admitted that she promoted an ‘unhealthy’ lifestyle to her hundreds of thousands of followers
However, she has now revealed the real reason she stop menstruating was because she was training for three hours a day on not enough calories.
‘I lost my period and I look back and I’m like “sis, you weren’t eating enough”,’ she said.
‘I looked 12, I looked like a shredded 12-year-old, I was going through my break up, my job was to workout, I was at the gym three hours a day and I only ate protein bread, protein powder, fish, and pumpkin. That’s it.
‘I didn’t have my period but I was encapsulated in that life so I genuinely thought I was being so healthy and so hashtag wellness so I was doing these videos saying I have lost my period and I don’t know why – I have amenorrhea.
‘You have amenorrhea because your body is in fight or flight, you are working out three hours a day, you are not eating enough calories, you’re not sleeping enough, you are getting up at 5am to train and going to bed at 2am editing your vlogs.
‘I look back and I wish I could talk to her and say – go and eat some sourdough, go for a walk, you don’t have to do that.’
The fitness influencer said she looked like ‘a shredded 12-year-old’ when her diet and fitness routine was unhealthy
The mother-of-two admits that she pushed certain diets on her followers
The mother-of-two admits she pushed certain diets on her followers, and now regrets many of these young women would have felt negative about themselves after watching her channel.
‘I would push this vegan train… then my skin would break out and I would see my naturopath and he would push high fat so I would say okay.. high-fat paleo and I would take that and try to help my audience by saying “guys, let’s go high-fat paleo” let’s do resistance training.
‘I look back now at my enthusiasm and passion and as much as I was coming from a positive space, other people watching it were judging their own eating habits and leaving my channel feeling negative about themselves and comparing themselves to me.’
The 30-year-old, who has been creating online fitness-based content for 10 years, said she was obsessed with how her body looked – and didn’t feel worthy enough to be a fitness influencer unless she looked a certain way.
The 30-year-old, who has been creating online fitness-based content for 10 years, said she was obsessed with how her body looked
Sarah said that she was part of a toxic culture that influenced women into believing they had to look slim and toned
By feeling this way, she admits that she was part of a toxic culture that influenced women into believing they had to look slim and toned.
‘I definitely got caught in this spiral of needing to look like the rest of the fitspo girls, I felt unworthy to have the level of subscribers I had and the level of engagement I had without abs,’ she said.
‘How could I be a fitness channel when I didn’t have abs? Or how could I be a health channel if I didn’t eat everything organic?
‘It was trying to appease all these different markets but I look back and realise I was a part of that toxic culture and realise that I was trying to be too perfect and it’s exhausting.’